THE FA of Malaysia (FAM) has given the green light to all 33 foreign players contracted to play in the M-League in 2013 but awaits the receipt of International Transfer Certificates (ITC) for nine of them.
FAM general secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad said all the imports meet FAM's strict criteria with 24 hired by Super League teams and nine by Premier League sides.
"The foreign players have all been cleared but we have yet to receive the ITCs for nine of them. Teams have 30 days to obtain the necessary documents and so far everything has been in order," said Azzuddin after the conclusion of a three-day briefing for all M-League teams in Shah Alam yesterday.
Only Singapore LionsXII and Kuala Lumpur will not field foreign players while Kelantan are only allowed to register two of the four foreigners they have signed for domestic competitions. The other two will play for Kelantan in the AFC Cup only.
KLFA general secretary Nokman Mustaffa said a problem with the ITC of Raimi Ayo Hassan means they are unable to utilise the Nigerian at least until the next transfer window in April.
Hassan, signed with KL until May 31, 2012, claims to have played for Nigerian top-flight club Gombe United but no trace of the defender's record could be found.
"We will have to make do without any imports until April. We have told him to go home to get it sorted out and return in March," said Nokman yesterday as KL voided the contract with Hassan.
Meanwhile, FAM announced an increase in prize money for the Super League on Tuesday with the champions receiving RM750,000, up from RM500,000 last season.
The runners-up get RM450,000, an increase of RM150,000, while third place is worth RM300,000, double that of last season. The Premier League champions receive RM300,000, runners-up get RM150,000 while RM75,000 goes to the third-placed side.
FAM are also considering giving prize money to either the FA Cup or Malaysia Cup finalists, but not both. At present, the finalists split the gate revenue with last season's Malaysia Cup finalists Negri Sembilan and Terengganu sharing RM1.5 million in collection.